Setting up Daimler Operations in India
- Parthasarathy Thota, chief financial officer, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd
After having entered the Indian market through partnerships, first with the Tata Group and then Hero Motors, Daimler set out on its own in 2008. The following year, Daimler India became a 100 percent subsidiary of its parent company in Germany. Since then, the company has steadily grown its business in the domestic and export market.
“Daimler India has introduced to the Indian and export market a unique product from India, Bharat Benz, which is designed and manufactured in India with 85 percent of the components locally sourced,” Mr. Thota said. Bharat Benz caters to the needs of Indian truckers and marks a break in Daimler’s 150-year-old tradition of global products for global requirements.
Mr. Thota sought to negate the perception that products manufactured in India lack quality and that it is difficult for a multinational company to set up operations in India on its own. “India has huge talent. Our local engineers took the early stage drawings from our parent company and completely evolved the trucks to suit local conditions. Our experience also shows that you don’t need partnerships to enter the Indian market. In spite of corruption, you can stick to your principles, be patient, allow for extra time in your project schedule, and make it happen in India. We didn’t pay a single penny to anybody nor did we go through agents to get approvals; we had to get 36 approvals in all,” he explained.
Managing Mergers and Acquisitions in a Projectized Way
- Viq Pervaaz, senior vice president and chief project officer, Aon M&A Solutions
As delegates were settling down for this post-lunch session, Mr. Viq Pervaaz decided to give them a simple exercise to pull them out of their stupor and at the same time, demonstrate the realities of mergers and acquisitions (M&As). He asked delegates from one half of the hall to move to the other half, and vice versa. “What you experienced just now is what organizations experience in an M&A – chaos, confusion, unfamiliar circumstances, and unfamiliar faces,” he explained.
For the next 45 minutes, Mr. Pervaaz took the delegates through the basics of M&A in an interactive manner. M&As are of four basic types – acquisition, merger, divesture, and joint venture. But why do organizations choose to do M&A? There can be many drivers such as better synergy between two companies in terms of skills and other capabilities, better financial strength, access to new markets, access to new capabilities, and higher competitiveness.
He got the audience thinking when he asked “Does two plus two always equal to four?” As he collected responses from the audience, he replied, “In the business of M&A, where we are looking for value creation, the mathematical certainty of the sum doesn’t apply.”
Whatever be the driver of an M&A, certain basics need to be remembered. “The M&A must be anchored in strategy. The focus must be on people in the organizations. The organizations must get the communication right so that the objectives of the M&A are clear to everybody,” he concluded.
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI ) – Extending Solar Lighting in Selected Indian States
- Kishore Kumar Chaudhary, senior manager – social transformation division, TERI
To solve the problem of frequent electricity cuts and poor quality of supply in Indian villages, TERI has started a program to provide solar power to these villagers. Theprogram has gathered significant momentum and has so far covered 2,500 villages in 22 states.
The initiative, which won PMI India Project of the Year – Non Government Organization 2013 award, has gone through several changes to accommodate new requirements, new research by TERI, and market feedback.
“Our prime focus is to provide house lighting. The added benefits are reduced pollution inside the house from kerosene lamps, increased business for local traders who can now keep their shops open for longer hours in the evening, and new sources of income for village-level entrepreneurs,” said Mr. Kishore Kumar Chaudhary.
The program is a fine example of growing reach and sustainability. A household gets solar equipment at a subsidized rate. Village entrepreneurs are encouraged to set up solar charging stations for these equipment. Now TERI is also installing solar panels in homes. “Partnerships with local social organizations have helped us extend the program to so many villages across the country. We conduct awareness programs in villages. We also give inputs to manufacturers on product development based on our research,” said Mr. Chaudhary.
Larsen & Toubro (L&T): The Mumbai High North Process Platform and Living Quarters
- Kumar Rudra, project director, L&T
The Mumbai High North project by L&T, that won the PMI India Project of the Year (Large) 2013 award, is a $1.1 billion offshore project that comprised construction of a process platform, a living quarter platform to accommodate 150 people, two flare tower platforms, three process gas compressor modules, and other modifications for Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). The highly complex project was completed in two phases of 19.5 months and 33 months, respectively.
“Project management was an important part to ensure safety, build capabilities, and conduct interface management and risk management. It also helped manage changes effectively,” said Mr. Kumar Rudra.
Safety features included daily “tool box talk”, special safety briefings, monthly reviews and work site visits by senior management, rewards and recognition for safe working practices, and regular training.
L&T tied in its technical, commercial, and project management capabilities together to deliver the mega project. Project management provided the project team the ability to conduct effective interface management across project phases and activities, and among the various stakeholders. L&T’s matrix organization is guided by PMI’s A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)®. The project team identified 40 major risks, maintained a risk register, and reviewed and monitored the risks through the project lifecycle.
Gamification of Project Management
- Madu Ratnayke, senior vice president, Virtusa, Sri Lanka
Millennials are known for their low engagement levels, irreverence for work rules and hierarchy, and familiarity of new technologies and devices. Virtusa has deployed a solution in the organization that helps boost motivation levels and performance of millennials by combining work goals with gaming features through social media.
“Millennials may be part of an exciting project but if their role in that project is not exciting, they will not continue in that role. When it comes to hierarchy, they have no inhibitions. If a millennial has no access to seniors in office, he/she will seek them out in social media; everybody is equal in social media,” said Mr. Ratnayke.
Virtusa has introduced gamification as part of project management through which each employee can create a unique social identity at the workplace, join online discussions, share and learn, collaborate, track his/her performance against others in the team, seek out help for specific problems, and enjoy recognition for achievement. “Gamification in project management creates engaged employees and engaged customers,” he said. Virtusa uses a variety of social media, mobility, cloud, and collaboration tools to create this unique and fun millennial user experience at the workplace.
Rolling out IT Modernization Projects in Department of Posts
- Ganesh Sawaleshwarkar, nodal officer, Department of Posts, Government of India
As the man in khaki delivering mail on bicycles starts fading from our memories, the department of posts is looking for new ways to re-enter our lives. The 160-yearold organization that has the world’s largest network with 155,000 post offices across the country is modernizing itself and introducing new services to bring in more customers.
At the core of the transformation of the postal network are IT modernization projects. The program which began in 1992 has so far fully modernized 25,000 post offices. It all started with the computerization of standalone counters in post offices. In 1997, modernization of the savings wing began. In 2002, the department introduced end-to-end tracking of speed posts. By 2008, all post offices were computerized. The department has seen decline in mail but has seen growth in its parcel business, postal life insurance schemes, and savings schemes, and e-commerce is taking off.
“We are doing a solution re-architecture to integrate all our business verticals, re-engineering our business processes, digitizing the records of over 70 lakh employees, training over five lakh employees, and conducting knowledge transfer on a large scale,” elaborated Mr. Ganesh Sawaleshwarkar. The department is employing project management to plan, deploy, monitor, and review progress of this on-going initiative.
Making of Terminal 2, Mumbai Airport
- Pradeep Sangal, general manager, Mumbai International Airport Ltd.
The new terminal at the Mumbai international airport is the first project in the country where a new and enhanced facility was built around an existing, operational airport.
“This was the most constrained airport construction in India. It pushed us to look for innovative solutions at every stage,” said Mr. Pradeep Sangal. GVK, along with other partners, built the new terminal under a public private partnership and continues to manage it.
At the time GVK started construction, only two-third of the land was available and the rest was encroached by slums. It took the consortium one year to develop the master plan.
“We overcame the space constraint with innovative designs such as vertical gardens, a vertical car park, and elevated roads. We couldn’t disrupt services during the construction phase,” he added. For runway extension work, the authorities allowed the runway to be shut down for six hours a week. Around 1,000 workers would stand by so that work could begin immediately and the runway handed over a little after five hours for test runs.
“Team work, stakeholder management, innovative techniques, collaborative planning and progressive elaboration, interface management, fast decision-making, and change management were some important project management features of this project,” added Mr. Sangal. These helped GVK to conduct the final transition of the old facilities to the new terminal in five hours.